Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Suffering for Christ: Humans Learning to Be Lambs

Suffering for Christ
Humans Learning to Be Lambs
If God loved the world so much, then why doesn't he save you? Why does he let you cry and become heart broken or feel injustice and anger? Why does he let blatantly evil people continue life to kill and to steal and to rape and to destroy? I immediately urge you to read this article of mine about Satan which shows very clearly how sin came about and why it's tolerated, and even goes on to explain how sin is actually used by our Holy God to free us from death, sin and give us ultimate salvation. Of this I promise: life, sin, salvation, faith, and death are actually all extremely simple- but if you don't know all of the facts (for example- Bible verses) then you'll lack knowledge of why things are the way they are. For when one thing (anything) builds upon another thing, it's not suddenly complicated due to its new complexity and infrastructure if you simply know all of the pieces. After all, a puzzle loses its mystery when you solve it and the second time you attempt to solve it, it simply has no challenge. Well, suffering is just like this. It's an enigma whose power is simply not knowing. The phrase "knowledge is power" shines like a great light in this example!
Suffering: this is not an easy word to grasp, so instead of dropping a few synonyms, I'm going paint you a picture. To suffer is to cringe your teeth in pain, to exhaust your every brain cell on a dilemma; it's not just crying when something goes wrong, it's deep weeping; it's a friend who died after 30 years of daily get-togethers; it's going to jail for something you didn't do; it's being raped by a man who once said he loved you-- suffering is true pain and sadness all rolled into one unbearable ball of injustice, anger, depression, insecurity, and any other raw emotions you can think of. And it rarely sits by itself- suffering is often emotional and physical.
Christ suffered more in a few hours
Thank you will have your entire life. and
Then bore the sins of every human in the
World for all time. Try to be like him
and take your pain with faith and
strength in him.
Now, what good could possibly come of suffering? This sounds horrid, doesn't it? Well, we all suffer to a degree, but not everyone. Christ uses any type of suffering for our good, because when we suffer in Christ's name it makes us pray, sometimes saying prayers as simple as "What are you doing up there??" I've had so many angry prayers. I've had so much suffering myself, living house to house, hand to mouth, destitute always. But I pray and my prayers are answered, though some take a good bit of time. I've learned faith in Christ and the Father, but what most people don't realize is that if they suffer and say "if God blesses me I'd praise him, but I cannot praise God while I feel cursed" or something to that effect, then the lesson of their suffering is lost, for when God lets you suffer it's to bring you to praise God while you do. To reiterate, God will not bless you until you learn to praise him during your suffering. He wants you to react on those emotions, and he doesn't mind if you yell and scream. If you care enough about your relationship with him then, yes, you're going to get angry sometimes and question him, But Christ uses suffering to force us to be dependent on him. We are sheep who so desperately need a shepherd.
To finalize my point, I'd like to ask, who among you low in faith can possibly be dependent on God when you are blessed? To reword this, is there any human who can be rich and have plenty and still be dependent? Yes, but it's highly uncommon, because people who have wealth are usually staunchly independent, selfish, and greedy (etc). They have no real needs that they know of, and therefore have no Earthly needs to call upon the Lord. In fact, God talks about richness specifically throughout the Bible, just as He does below!
Revelation 3:17-19 "17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent."
But what of the homeless man? Or the woman who just became divorced from a cheating husband? Or the young boy with a recently deceased father? Or the graduate student who cannot get a job and pay off his debts? Well, they all fall into this "dependent" category, for when they all look to God they can have healing, their eyes can be opened to new job types or different ways to keep up with debt, or maybe they're supposed to realize that their credit scores are not important, the child waiting in faith receives a roof over his head, the woman marries her heart to Christ and the list goes on forever since human need is boundless. And God is like a father, where he provides for his children but his children rarely know what is best, so sometimes our prayers take different shapes.
Below are simple quotes from the New Testament where suffering is shown to be positive. And remember, to suffer for Christ is to build up treasures in heaven. Next time you suffer, I encourage you to think about how you're heaven is going to be even better after you get through it!
Remember you are a sheep, so follow Christ!
Read this! Faith is developed amidst suffering in
Christ's name, not when you lie on a bed of roses.
When you suffer, immediately give it to Christ in prayer.
You'll realize that it works if you really try and then
you'll be stronger...in Christ! That same problem will
not burden you as much or at all the next time.

Matthew 5:10-12 (NIV)
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Romans 8:35-39 (NIV)
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a] 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.
There are so many more passages of suffering and faith being tools to build your relationship with Christ. Do not let your suffering cause you to give up or fall way from Christ. Remember that Christ uses all sin and suffering for good even though it's evil, so it's up to you to give it to Christ for good or to let it remain evil, which causes the suffering to become evil, and only bad things can sprout from evil. Christ turns all evil into good, so give everything to Christ no matter how bad it is. The Apostle Paul was a murderer and became the greatest Christian minister to ever walk the Earth and spread truth and salvation to all people. Christ used that evil man for good, and he became so good. Yes, even murderers and thieves and rapists and liars and swindlers and prostitutes can turn from evil for good, for it is in this sin that we are saved, not by good works, for Christ did not come to save the righteous, but came to save the evil, sinful, desperate people of the world. Have faith in Christ amidst all suffering and death. Pray now, saying "Lord, I believe you died for my sins. I believe you are the Christ, son of God, who came to save me from sins. I am yours, and as a child needs, guide me. I need help to become a better person, and I need faith. I await you Lord, Amen."
Pray and read your Bible every day. Never quit. Be relentless and interminable. Be a truck without brakes going 90mph down a hill. Do not ever relent in your faith. Be like a soldier for Christ and take pain with joy, for pain makes you stronger, and strength is always an admirable pursuit, but who becomes strong when they endure nothing unpleasant? Never cease your goal to reach for Christ's heart, for when you do, then you will know and understand everything in the world as some people do. My words and the words in the Bible will suddenly make sense. So pray that your eyes and heart and spirit are opened when you read the Bible and when you encounter suffering. Don't ever let your challenges go. Learn everything in Christ's name.
Thanks for reading, and keep up with my other articles on the tip-top of this article and on the right side near my picture!